And told as she had heard the mournful tale:
’That the poor sufferer’s health began to fail
Two years from my departure, but that then
The lady who had left him, came again.
Her mien had been imperious, but she now 600
Looked meek—perhaps remorse had brought her low.
Her coming made him better, and they stayed
Together at my father’s—for I played,
As I remember, with the lady’s shawl—
I might be six years old—but after all 605
She left him.’...’Why, her heart must have been tough:
How did it end?’ ’And was not this enough?
They met—they parted.’—’Child, is there no more?’
’Something within that interval which bore
The stamp of WHY they parted, HOW they met: 610
Yet if thine aged eyes disdain to wet
Those wrinkled cheeks with youth’s remembered tears,
Ask me no more, but let the silent years
Be closed and cered over their memory
As yon mute marble where their corpses lie.’ 615
I urged and questioned still, she told me how
All happened—but the cold world shall not know.
‘What think you the dead are?’ ’Why,
dust and clay,
What should they be?’ ’’Tis the last hour of day.
Look on the west, how beautiful it is 620
Vaulted with radiant vapours! The deep bliss
Of that unutterable light has made
The edges of that cloud ... fade
Into a hue, like some harmonious thought,
Wasting itself on that which it had wrought, 625
Till it dies ... and ... between
The light hues of the tender, pure, serene,
And infinite tranquillity of heaven.
Ay, beautiful! but when not...’
’Perhaps the only comfort which remains 630
Is the unheeded clanking of my chains,
The which I make, and call it melody.’
NOTES: 45 may Hunt manuscript; can 1824.
99 a one Hunt manuscript; an one 1824. 105
sunk Hunt manuscript; sank 1824. 108 ever Hunt
manuscript; even 1824. 119 in Hunt manuscript;
from 1824. 124 a Hunt manuscript; an 1824. 171
That Hunt manuscript; Which 1824. 175 mind Hunt
manuscript; minds 1824. 179 know 1824; see Hunt
manuscript. 188 those Hunt manuscript; the 1824.
191 their Hunt manuscript; this 1824. 218 Moons,
etc., Hunt manuscript;
The line is wanting in editions 1824 and 1839.
237 far Hunt manuscript; but 1824. 270 nor Hunt manuscript; and 1824. 292 cold Hunt manuscript; and 1824. 318 least Hunt manuscript; last 1824. 323 sweet Hunt manuscript; fresh 1824. 356 have Hunt manuscript; hath 1824. 361 in this keen Hunt manuscript; under this 1824. 362 cry Hunt